Resolution Concerning Management of the National Spectrum Exposed

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A Resolution Concerning Management of the National Spectrum is adapted from an ALEC State Factor written and approved by ALEC's Task Force on Telecommunications in February, 1990. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Resolution Text


Radio spectrum is the medium by which many everyday services, such as radio and television, are brought to the homes and businesses of America. As technology increases so does the demand on finite spectrum. Today, spectrum allocation is essentially “free”, which means that users of radio and other services are not required to pay user fees or taxes, which would compensate for access to, or use of, a national resource. Any rational user of a resource, when confronted with no cost for that resource, has little or no incentive to use less. Therefore, users of spectrum see little benefit in spending additional funds to switch to new technologies and equipment for the purpose of achieving spectrum efficiency.

Model Resolution

For the purpose of urging Congress to ensure that the nation’s radio spectrum is managed by the nation as an invaluable, finite resource by encouraging the most efficient use and fullest deployment of spectrum-based, or wireless, telecommunications services to the greatest number of people at the least possible costs.

WHEREAS radio-based, or wireless, telecommunications services have always been a critical component of the communications infrastructure of a modern nation, allowing the wide deployment and use of such services as broadcast television and radio, air traffic control, radio services for the national defense, cellular telephones, microwave telecommunications, and radio services for emergency services providers;

WHEREAS radio spectrum has become extremely crowded with many competing users and is a finite resource, with limits on the amount of usable spectrum;

WHEREAS the inherent inefficiency associated with the nation’s current allocation of free spectrum provides no incentive for private and government entities to use spectrum in a more efficient manner;

WHEREAS the introduction of new radio-based, or wireless telecommunications services, such as high definition television and personal communications services, having vast potential to increase America’s competitive edge and to improve the quality of everyday life for all Americans are being delayed because of the immediate need for additional spectrum to be allocated;

WHEREAS in order to ensure more efficient use of any future allocations of new spectrum, public policy must foster multiple diverse competitors, including experienced telecommunications providers, to seek licenses for these frequencies;

WHEREAS market-based mechanisms should be used to deter uncontrolled speculation that has occurred in prior allocations of spectrum and the subsequent awarding of radio construction permits and licenses;

WHEREAS the importance of wireless services requires a consistent regulatory policy, including streamlining regulation and deregulation of all competitive services, so that new services are deployed in ways that are more efficient and responsive to marketplace demands.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that all state delegations to the United States Congress and Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission are urged to vigorously support all appropriate legislation, with sufficient safeguards to ensure continued consumer protection and states rights, that would further the development of and deployment of new radio-based, or wireless, technologies that will bring many public benefits by increasing America’s competitive edge and improving the quality of everyday life for all Americans;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any such Congressional actions and legislation should focus upon, or contain, the intent of the following guidelines:

  • Implement market-based mechanisms, such as competitive bidding or auctions for spectrum assignment, which would greatly reduce or eliminate speculation;
  • Reduce regulation and rules to encourage flexible use of all assigned frequencies, while maintaining broad requirements for compatibility and interference protection, thereby encouraging development of new innovations in services and ensuring more efficient use of all assigned spectrum
  • Ensure that allocation and frequency assignments carefully and fairly balance the competing demands of new, proposed services and the rights of existing users of more mature technologies and services;
  • Promote the continued development of a national public switched network as the ultimate backbone for an integrated, national communications system, encompassing both wire and radio-based telecommunications service;
  • Promote the deployment of fiber and other wire-based networks by all private telecommunications companies, so that spectrum can be reallocated from point-to-point microwave systems, television broadcasters, and, to a lesser extent, radio broadcasters to new, more efficient spectrum services, such as cellular mobile telephone, proposed personal communications services, and to meet the growing needs of state and local public safety providers;
  • Ensure regulatory and tax parity among all new and existing radio-based competitors who offer like, or similar, telecommunications services.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the staff of the American Legislative Exchange Council transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, to all state delegations to the United States Congress and to all Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission.

As adapted from an ALEC State Factor written and approved by the Task Force on Telecommunications in February of 1990.